French & Canadian Aircraft Arrive in Japan for DPRK Sanctions Enforcement

French and Canadian Maritime Patrol Aircraft have landed in Japan this week, where they will conduct operations to enforce U.N Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea. Both aircraft will conduct operations well into November. 

WHITE BEACH, Japan (May 18, 2021) Lt. Donna Powell, Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa port operations officer and liaison officer gives her US Navy jack shoulder patch to an officer from French navy La Fayette-class general purpose frigate Surcouf (F711) at CFAO White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan May 18, 2021. The visit was to conduct training and liaison with United Nations Command Rear (UNC-R), and base familiarization. This image has been altered for security purposes. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum)

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Orion touched down at Kadena Air Base on the 15th of October. Meanwhile, on the same day, a French Navy (Marine Nationale) Falcon 200 Guardian arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma, also on Okinawa.   

Both aircraft are using the respective airstrips under the 1954 Agreement Regarding the Status of the United Nations Forces in Japan. The agreement stipulates that the U.S and Japan mutually designate bases for use by United Nations Command (UNC) members. There are currently seven such bases in Japan, stretching from Yokota Air Base in the North to MCAS Futenma in the South. 

180706-O-N0842-2039 MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII (July 6, 2018) A Canadian Aurora aircraft (CP140118) arrives at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, July 6, to participate in the RIMPAC 2018 exercise. (Canadian Armed Forces photo by Imagery Technician Cpl Trevor Matheson/Released)

“[Both aircraft will] engage in monitoring and surveillance activities by aircraft against illicit maritime activities, including ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean-flagged vessels prohibited by the United Nations Security Council resolutions” according to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The French F200 Guardian will remain deployed at MCAS Futenma until “early November”. Normally, the F200 flies out of French Polynesia as part of the French Armed Forces contingent based there. Meanwhile, the Canadian CP-140 is expected to remain until “mid-November” before it returns home to CFB Comox in British Columbia. 

U.S. military officials stationed on Okinawa, foreign military and civilian personnel with United Nations Command Rear (UNC-R), and Government of Japan (GOJ) representatives participate in an air station tour on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 4, 2021. UNC-R and GOJ visited MCAS Futenma to provide an opportunity for the UNC-R to meet the MCAS Futenma team and discuss local considerations that may impact future planning in establishing a possible UNC-R footprint. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jonathan A. Beauchamp)

Cover image courtesy UNC-R via Twitter